I have this love/hate with relationship with making my schedules for the school year. Part of me kind of loves doing it. It’s like sudoku or something. Everything somehow always fits in perfectly. But…. it’s such a pain in the butt getting there! And I’m such a perfectionist that I of course just can’t stand it until everything fits in just right!

I think I’m almost there with this year’s! Now before looking farther down this post – I little disclaimer – I’m not crazy. I promise. I just realized these schedules kind of make me look like a psycho. There is a method to the madness I swear.

 

So yea this gives me a headache too! I basically do a schedule for each student by every 15 minutes. Here are some tips for starting this monstrosity:

  • plug in all your specials, lunch, recess, inclusion, etc. first
  • look for big time gaps and consider some rotations; like these two below. These two groups of students rotate between morning group/DI (direct instruction), reading, and language – I run one station and my two aides run the other two stations – this is an easy way to make sure you hit all your IEP goals for each student. We run through this rotation twice (with 2 groups of kids) and the other students do independent work while they are not doing the rotation.

  • consider what students can get grouped together to do the same activities (unless you have unlimited adults – which if you do, I hate you – you will need to group up some kids. Like on this part of my schedule, some students are together for activities:

  • Once I have fit in all the main activities I then I fill in down time with other activities such as table time and work station (independent work tasks), life skills room, and science/social studies (we does these partially independent/partially guided by an adult).
So once I have this mostly done, then I make my adult schedule based off the student schedule. This is KEY. I have a bad habit of expecting my aides to read my mind to know what to do. So it’s so essential to have it broken down for everyone so everyone knows what to be doing, with which students, and where. There is no miscommunication and misunderstandings then. This will also help make sure that you have adults to run all the activities you have set up. And even more importantly – when an administrator tries to take an aide from your classroom (I’m sure this would never happen…) you can bust this baby out to show exactly how busy and needed all adults are in your room.
This year I was (SOOOO) lucky enough to have our specials at the same time each day (AHHH!) – so I actually only made one schedule!  Other years I have unfortunately had to make one for each day – but I promise once you make the first one you can usually adapt it quickly for the next days. As far as therapies – speech, OT, social work, school psych minutes – I collaborate with the therapists to pick times/days and then students just miss their previously scheduled activity. I obviously include the therapy on the student’s visual schedule – but it’s good to have something planned as a back up in case the therapists have to reschedule. IE if they do reading every day at 10:00 expect Tuesdays when they have OT – if OT cancels they can just do reading then!